Syria rebels battle rival force as Turkey presses operation

August 27, 2016 17:21


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Syrian rebels backed by Turkey fought fighters opposed by Ankara in northern Syria on Saturday, sources on both sides said, as a Turkish-backed operation targeting Islamic State and Kurdish influence at the border appeared to gather pace.

The fighting erupted at the village of al-Amarna, some 10 km (6 miles) south of the border town of Jarablus that was seized by the Turkey-backed rebels from Islamic State this week.

The sides gave conflicting accounts of who was involved.

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said Turkish tanks had advanced on the village, where they clashed with the Jarablus Military Council, an ally of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance that is in turn backed by the powerful Kurdish YPG militia.

The administration's media office said the rebels were fighting alongside the Turkish tanks, and Kurdish forces had no role in the fighting.

The leader of one of the Turkey-backed rebel groups however told Reuters the rebels were battling the YPG on the outskirts of al-Amarna. Ahmed Osman, leader of the Sultan Murad group also denied any Turkish tanks were taking part in storming the area.

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